It’s hard to imagine life without the internet these days. A below-average internet connection can affect downloads and streaming causing video stuttering, buffering and much more. So, if you’re suffering slow speeds and other Wi-Fi issues, there are ways you can increase connectivity in your home.
Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies
Use up-to-date hardware. Wireless A, B, G, and N are older standards, with AC being the latest technology on offer. A wireless AC connection will minimize video stuttering or buffering as it moves more data at a faster rate than the older N standard. The more state-of-the-art AX won’t be out until 2019. In the meantime, you can get a wireless mesh network system.
Secure your Wi-Fi
Password protect your Wi-Fi as anyone can use it. Your neighbors might be hogging your network without you knowing it, causing speeds to drop as a result. These days ISPs automatically supply you a router that’s password-protected. So, if you aren’t protected by a password set it immediately so your network can be safe. You can do that by going into your router settings. Enter its IP address into your web browser. You’ll typically find that printed somewhere on the router itself. You may come across a number like 192.168.0.1. Next, log in. The admin username and password will often be printed on the router, but if it isn’t, ask your provider. Set up a password and secure your Wi-Fi in settings.
Relocate Your Router
Walls, doors, and interference from other devices can hamper broadband signals. So if you’re suffering from a sluggish Wi-Fi move your router to another location. Try positioning it higher up and see if that works. To get coverage across your entire house, position it somewhere central. Whatever you do, don’t put in a closed space. On the other hand, you can opt for a smart router that automatically adjusts for interference. Shop around for the perfect option for you.
Close Unnecessary Applications
Unknowingly, open applications on your computer could be using up your internet speed. Unnecessary programs running in the background can hog your speed and connectivity slowing the whole system down. To boost your speeds close all unimportant applications, downloads or scans running while you are using the internet as well as any that are streaming content in the background. On the PC, access the task manager by pressing ALT+CTRL+DEL. Close all programs that you don’t want running. Similarly, access the Activity Log and close the ones that aren’t needed. Also, open your browser menu and clear your cache and browser history and delete your old and unwanted files.
Free Up Space on Your Computer
Temporary Internet files clog your computer up with unnecessary data. Delete temporary Internet files by deleting your cache and cookies. The process is pretty simple for both Windows and Mac users. For Windows, go to the Control Panel, find the Programs or the Add/Remove Programs panel, select the unwanted file and click “Uninstall.” Macintosh users can go to their “Applications” folder and drop unwanted files into the Trash.
Try a Powerline Adapter
Powerline adapters are perfect for rooms in your house where signals are weak. They work by using the electricity lines in your house to boost signals from room to room. Some providers offer powerline adapters, but you may have to pay for them.
In spite of all the above switching to another provider like Mediacom Internet could be your best solution. Ask for a speed test from your ISP to get an idea of the speeds you can expect before you sign up. If they refuse or decline or don’t provide the speed you want, switch to an ISP that will. Albeit, fiber optic broadband can be your fastest option if it’s available in your area.
Find the Right Wireless Channel
You neighbors’ routers may be interfering with your network causing a drop in signal. Routers operate on a number of different channels, so find a channel with minimal interference. Fewer routers on a channel mean a faster connection. There are tools like Network Analyzer Lite or Wi-Fi Analyzer available that tell you what channels are in use within your network range. You can change your channel on your router’s administration page under the “Wireless” tab.
Change Your DNS Server
A bad Domain Name Server (DNS) can result in slow speeds. You can search manually for a better DNS server to improve your connectivity. When you find the best DNS server in your range, go into your computer’s DNS settings and change the information from “default” to the new server.
Turn Your Old Router into a Repeater
You can actually recycle and reuse your old router or get a range extender to cover other areas of your home. If you don’t want to pay for extra hardware, you can turn an old wireless router into an extender with the DD-WRT firmware if your router is supported with the same. Some routers come with repeater functions, while others have to be configured manually. You may not get a fast connection, but you can use your Wi-Fi in places it couldn’t reach before. Or you could connect one router to another via an Ethernet cable and create another access point in your home.
Boost Your Router’s Signal with a Bit of Hacking
A bit of hacking can go a long way. You can install DD-WRT firmware offering plenty of security features and other enhancements, giving you the option to boost your signals. Most routers can handle up to 70 mW without any issues with the ability able to access your network from a considerable distance.
Set Your Router to Reboot Automatically
It pays to reboot your router every once in a while. A way to solve the problem is to automatically reboot it once a day or so with DD-WRT or just a regular old outlet timer. Thereafter, your router should reboot as scheduled.
Increase Coverage with DIY Tricks
Simple DIY tricks can do wonders. You can try the Windsurfer tin foil hack, or you can use an old beer can or a cooking strainer. You should be able to get a little bit more coverage out of your Wi-Fi network without spending any cash. Or you can buy RP-SMA antenna extension cables, or even a directional antenna to boost your Wi-Fi signal.
Get Rid of Interference from Other Appliances
Household appliances like cordless phones, microwaves, and others can interfere with your signal. Buying a dual-band router can solve the problem. You can also try moving your router away from appliances to minimize interference.
Check for Adware
Clean up your computer from adware and spyware as they could affect your privacy and take up a lot of bandwidth. Remove them with specially designed software to improve overall speed. Never download files you’re not sure of.
You can implement all these tweaks without breaking the bank. When you’re done you’ll probably find that your home Wi-Fi is faster, more reliable and more secure than ever before.